Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sweet, Sweeter, Sweetest

Write in your heart that
everyday is the best day of the year.
- Emerson

Day 121
30 January 2012

Monday is usually the most hated day of the week, but I sure never had the Monday Blues! :)

Tree Tree

I woke up early today - 5:30am, but after my morning ritual (prayer, bathroom, 2 glasses of water), I found myself back in my bed. I was just supposed to lie and wait for the sky to light up a bit, but I was surprised that when I opened my eyes it was already 6:30am! I didn't want to waste this day, so I quickly got up and prepared myself for my morning walk. I woke up sis, but she wasn't in the mood to go out, so for today I was alone, but not really - as I was talking to Mr. Pipoy while I walk.

It was a sweet start of the day - despite being late, I still was able to walk for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

After eating breakfast, it was time for me to check the Internet and when I checked for blog comments, this one surprised me. Of all the friends I have / had, Roselle is the one I miss the most - she is my closest high school friend and we parted ways on a sour note. Last time we spoke was late 1996, and thankful to a very old blog post I wrote on my Multiply site, Roselle's sister-in-law got to read it and (maybe) told her about it (the SIL commented on my site many months back). She didn't leave her contact number, but she did include her e-mail address on her comment, so somehow the bridge just got reconnected. I sure hope she and I can meet soon; I surely miss her a lot!

Now, that's sweeter!

Sweetest part of the day?

About noon time, I received an Ali Edwards newsletter (she's one of my favorite people - I love how she inspires people to become life artists). I forgot to take a screen cap of it and I forgot which folder I placed the newsletter (I usually clean my inbox right after sorting mails out), but while the whole newsletter deserved a post on its own, it was the parting words that got me really interested:

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage.
Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery.
And I promise you, something great will come of it."

Mr. Pipoy and I didn't plan to meet today. Based on our phone conversations, we sort of plan to meet later in the week, so when it was time for him to sleep (around noon time, to prepare him for work later in the evening), I just set up to do what I was supposed to do - work and workout. About 4:30pm, my phone rang and I was surprised to see that he was the one calling. Answering it, he asked me if I could meet him around 6pm at our "home away from home." It took me a while to answer, but of course my answer was "yes." It was, I'd like to say, my "Twenty seconds of insane courage," and true enough, something great came out of it.

I just can't explain how wonderful it felt seeing him again, hug him, kiss him. We talk everyday, but nothing can be sweeter than seeing each other in person - sharing the love for each other. It felt great sharing dinner with him - though his fries got me salivating (too bad I told myself I won't eat fried food this week), and it felt great sharing stories.

Before eating dinner though, we did one round of his Insanity workout. I still have Bloody Mary with me, but what the heck... let this workout be my "embarrassing bravery." It was tough - doing my video workout on and off, and now I had to do an insane workout. It made my legs wobble (if I reach 170lbs. I'd video it so you'd see how insane Mr. Pipoy's workout is), but it made me appreciate his efforts to shower me with love. You know, workouts can be tough, but knowing he's taking the time to help me be fit, I am happy enough. We did three rounds of the workout, and it made me catch my breath - but never did I give up. I was elated, I was on top of the world, I was in heaven. The first time we found our "home away from home," he told me, "I will make you happy," and today - our third month into the relationship, he still makes me happy.

Sadly, I wasn't able to take any picture today - I was in a hurry I forgot to bring my camera and my cellphone didn't have enough battery juice.

Happy third month, love!
I love you so much!

Fitness talk:
  • 6:45 am - walk to and around Colinas Verdes (1 hour 45 minutes)
  • 10:02 am - Hip Hop Abs (Cardio)
  • 1:15 pm - 8 Minute Arms
  • 3:07 pm - Hip Hop Abs (Ab Sculpt)
Was able to do my schedule today, yey!
Fish Paksiw

Food I ate today:
  • 9:01 am - 1 piece sliced White bread + 1 tablespoon mashed hard boiled egg
  • 11:10 am - 1/2 cup rice; Fish Paksiw (80g fish cooked in vinegar, chili fingers, ginger, onion, garlic - seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 8-ish in the evening - 1 serving Spaghetti (KFC - cold cuts taken aside)
Total Cups of Water: 10 at home + the water I drank while with Mr. Pipoy
I sure had a wonderful start of the week. Everything just fell into its place, I love this day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Beck Diet Solution: Day 8

It was a month ago when I last updated "The Beck Diet Solution." Not that I got tired reading my ARCs and not that I got tired following what Dr. Beck shared; I simply just got lost in my way, but I didn't forget any of the lessons I have learned. Come to think of it, I recently just made a new set of ARCs, because I want it to be as much personal as possible. Last week, I focused on just following the first 7 lessons, so this week it's time to move forward.

The Beck Diet Solution - Day 8

When I lost the first 10lbs., nobody seemed to notice I lost weight, but when I finally lost 20lbs., people around me started noticing it. One time, when I updated a Facebook profile picture, our next door neighbor called on me and asked me a few questions. First question was, "How did you do it?" When I answered, "I walked every morning for more than an hour, did two Hip Hop Abs routines during weekdays, portioned my food intake." As soon as I was done answering her first question, she quickly made a follow up question, "Everyday?" Then her face turned sour. She said, "I guess I'd just have be overweight my whole life, I can't do what you're doing everyday."

This is the sad truth: many people want to lose weight, but don't want to devote time to it.

I was once like that, I admit. The thought of going through a video workout for 30 minutes felt I have been robbed of precious time I could use for other things, which turned out to be senseless (like playing a Facebook game or watching a YouTube video or "gossiping" through my Facebook Wall). When I finally got serious to lose the excess weight, I knew I will be sacrificing a lot, but it was a challenge I embraced. At first it was tough - breaking my usual cycle just to do my Hip Hop Abs routines, but I still did it... first 10 minutes sure were agonizing - I felt lazy, I wanted to turn the DVD off and just watch TV, but as I continue doing it time just went by so quick I was just surprised to see I was already done. After doing the routine, I always thank myself for not giving up and for making the day count. Now, I am applying the same principle. Think about it - we always put off for tomorrow when we can most certainly do it now. 30 minutes is just half an hour. You might miss your favorite TV show, you might not be able to harvest your crops on Farmville (if you still play it), but you will survive. And someday, you will just see the results.

Me? It took three months. 24lbs... and the rewards started pouring in.

Believe me, the day I fit into one of my sister's blouses, it felt like heaven. When I folded the clothes I needed to let go, I came into a realization - that it only took me 24lbs to start reaping the rewards... why didn't I do it then? True, three months may seem too long for most of us. All of us sure want to lose as much weight as fast as possible, and looking back, I realized three months went by so quickly!

Today Dr. Beck teaches us to create time and energy.

Like every goal we set ourselves to do, we have to put our time, effort, and energy for us to reach it. It is also true that all of us live a very busy life. I guess in a way I am lucky that I work at home and that I am still single (meaning: not yet married), but there are days I feel my day's work and house chores are eating my entire day. All of us have reasons to not fulfill our tasks for the day, but Dr. Beck says we just have to compromise:
  • Set your priorities.
  • Plan your meals ahead - maybe before you sleep, plan what food to cook for the next day, so you will not waste time walking around the market thinking what to buy.
  • If you got kids who are old enough to help, you can ask them to do some chores so you will have extra time doing something for your fitness.
  • Lessen TV / Internet time; lessen the time spent on other activities that are not that important.
  • Multi task - if you're doing the laundry, you can insert some fitness activity while the machine washes / spin dry your clothes.
  • Make fitness time one of your essential activities for the day.
Some of us don't like to plan. True, life is about being spontaneous, but then again if we must lose weight, we have to give up a little spontaneity, until we have developed a routine.

For this lesson, my biggest inspiration is my friend Rhona. She's not fat, but she looked a little chubby for her height. Now... she's a high school teacher and has to travel two hours just to get to the school from her place and another two hours (possibly more when the traffic is bad) to get home. She's at school the entire day, and coming home she needs to write on her Lesson Plan book, as well as check papers, which includes reading a lot of essays. On top of that, she is a daughter and a fiancee. She certainly has a lot of things going on that eats up her entire day, yet the day she got engaged, she enrolled herself in a gym and was able to devote a piece of her time everyday to do some workouts. I don't know how long she spends at the gym, but regardless of what and how she did it, the results speak for itself: she certainly looked stunning during her wedding day.

If she can do it, we all can do it.
I guess it's just a matter of commitment.

Easier said than done, but let's just do it anyway.
After all, it is for our own good. All to gain, nothing to lose.

...but excess pounds.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Very Short Recap... and New Set of Goals

Days 117 - 120
26 - 29 January 2012

The past four days - including today were quiet. I wasn't able to exercise that much because of the dizziness my monthly period gave me. The only exercise I was able to do was go 15 minutes on an Elliptical Machine, which was quite tough for me. I don't know how other machines are like, but our Elliptical Machine is quite heavy! I had a hard time using it continuously for 3 minutes even if it's on zero resistance. I think I should visit the store where we bought it and check how the same machine is like.

Anyway, yesterday I went to clean my closet, and I was surprised to see how much clothes I had to let go. It was bittersweet - some of the clothes were favorites, but now I just have to let it go because I realized, holding on to these would mean not embracing the new me. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to become healthy and fit. Whatever memories these clothes brought me, I kept it all in my heart and I am going to use it to motivate me become the better version of me.

So okay... today is the 29th of January, day 120 into this journey.

I admit, I was way too lazy this January, but I didn't totally neglected my responsibilities. Despite the three day battle with Mia, I think I was able to surpass a budding problem, thanks to my everdearest Mr. Pipoy, who gave me everything I needed - a little scolding with lots of love in between. I am now ready check into the Pit Stop and move forward to the next chapter of this journey - February.

This coming week - 29 January to 04 February, my goals are:
  1. Pass the "No Sweets Challenge" posted at Belle Today with flying colors (I surely want to be the last Belle standing).
  2. Morning walks for more than 1-2 hours.
  3. Complete the exercises set for this week - to prepare myself for Jillian Michaels' "30 Day Shred," which I will start doing next week.
  4. Eat at least 2 kinds of vegetables every day.
  5. No fried food of any kind.
  6. No processed meat (including dried fish) and canned food, but canned fish is allowed.
  7. Buy myself a pair of 3lb. dumbbells.
  8. Get a haircut.

Exceptions? Well, there will be no exceptions for the "No Sweets Challenge," but for the fried food one... if I am invited to an event and was served fried food, I will eat it (as it is part of my "job" as a food blogger), but I will keep in mind the amount of fried food I am taking. As of this writing, I don't have any events to attend for this coming week, so staying at home, I think I don't have to worry about the fried food. I am now currently listing out dishes to cook, just to remind myself of the many options to eat.

My food buddies Andrew and Elwood just posted an invitation for our next food trip - no date set for this, but they're thinking of doing it the first week of February, should the food trip push through within this coming week, I will just ask them to go for the healthier dishes. Way I see it, the food trip might not happen this week, but just in case, I will be more responsible this week and keep my focus straight.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Smile... Go Crazy!

Day 116
25 January 2012

Day 2 of dealing with Bloody Mary and I am still in deep discomfort. I just stayed at home because I was so dizzy (I normally get dizzy this time of the month), and because my lower back and tummy were aching, I just took this day to relax and deal with the pain...

Crazy Beautiful Halter Crazy Beautiful

...by going crazy!

This green halter top was something I bought many years back (possibly in 2008), but I didn't really get to wear it that often because my arms were so big and even if the lower part of the blouse was loose, bulges around my tummy would still show, so in the rare times that I wore this, it was just at home. I tried wearing it again (just because) and sister said I should wear it during a beach trip if I have the chance. I think I might.

Papaya Flowers

Later this afternoon, brother wanted to go to the nearby supermarket (just near the market), and because I needed to at least help myself by not wasting the day, I walked with him. It turned out to be a good decision because I was able to cross paths with a former high school classmate, whom I haven't seen for 10+ years. We weren't able to talk because she and her husband were about to get in a tricycle, but we were able to exchange smiles and waves. Hopefully soon, we will be able to catch up on the old times.

Upon getting home, I went to the garden to pull out some weeds. I just noticed that my papaya tree is actually male and can't bear fruits, but as sad as I was, I guess I would just have to try again.

I have been a member of Belle Today since 2008, but I admit I am not a very active member and I still haven't cultivated real friendships, so when they posted that they will be having a Community Challenge this February, I told them to count me in, as this will be a good avenue to be friends with the members of the community.

No Sweets Challenge? No sweat for me! Errr... or is it? Let's see!

If you want to join us and/or if you want to read the complete mechanics of this challenge, please click HERE.

taken from - Pilipinas Roadtrip

One thing that gave me a big smile today: the promise of an upcoming Ilocos trip. Well, if you back read on this blog, I already shared that I plan to do one with our neighbor Ria, but while eating dinner, mom told me Miss Nerie (one of her close friends at work) found a package trip to Ilocos and mom already signed up for it, saying she also listed me as one of the participants. They plan to do the trip sometime this April and I think I will just ask Ria to sign up for it so she can travel with us.

Checking Pilipinas Roadtrip's page, I found their itinerary:
ILOCOS TOUR- P3450 per pax

Day 00
08.30pm Assembly Manila
09.00pm ETD from Manila to Ilocos

Day 1
05.30am Sunrise viewing at Bantay Bridge
06.00am ETA at Vigan, Breakfast Café uno (own account)
07.00am Proceed Baluarte, Crisologo Museum, Burnayan, Bantay Bell Tower
11.00pm ETD Vigan to Batac
12.30pm ETA Batac lunch, Foodcourt meals at (own account)
01.00pm Proceed at Marcos Museum, Paoay Church, Malacaniang ti Amianan (Malacañang of the North)
02.30pm ETA Laoag City
03.00pm ETA Cape Bojeador Light House, Bangui windmill
06.00pm ETA Pagudpud (rest)

Day 2
06.00am Wake-up call. Breakfast (own account)
08.00am Proceed to Patapat bridge, Paraiso ni Anton , Bagong Lipunan
11.00am early lunch.(we can buy fresh fish, and have it cook at the beachside with a minimal fee)
12.30pm ETD Blue Lagoon proceed to Bantay Abot Cave, Blue Lagoon, free time to explore the beach
02.30pm ETA Kabigan falls jump off (20 min trek to the falls)
04.30pm ETA from the falls
05.00pm ETA Pagudpud town, food trip empanada, vigan langgonisa etc.
05.30pm ETA resort (end of day 2)

Day 3
06.00am Wake up call Breakfast (own account). Check out.
07.00am Check out.
07.30am ETD Pagudpud.
08.15am ETA Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
11.30pm ETA Vigan
12.30pm ETA Vigan,lunch at Hidden Garden(own account), souvenir hunting
03.00pm ETD Vigan
10.00pm ETA Manila
p3450 per person... not bad, actually, considering the travel and the accommodation is already part of the package, we will just have to shoulder the food and other expenses (like souvenir shopping). Although I am not much a fan of packaged tours because I feel time may not be enough to go around and enjoy the place, I guess this would be a good trip to do, and is much cheaper compared to doing the trip on my own. Mom will shoulder the expenses for this trip - she said she will give this trip as her birthday gift to me. Oh wow. Amazing!

Edit - told Ria about the trip, and she's in. Yehey!

Biggest smile for today comes from this video - my super duper favorite band Hanson just released a video inviting fans for their upcoming shows here in the Philippines. About 64 days to go and I still don't have a ticket for it... hopefully soon I can purchase the ticket - I don't want to miss out on the good seat. Getting the VIP Patron seat will be amazing (the closer the better of course), but even if I just get the Lowerbox ticket, I will be fine - as long as I am in the first row of the Lowerbox area. Crossing fingers that I can get to watch this concert - Hanson's part of my life and seeing them perform right in front of my eyes (again - as I did get to watch their 2004 concert here in the Philippines) will definitely a dream come true.

Planets, align for me please!

Tilapia and Ampalaya

My food today:
  • 7:33 am - 1/2 cup garlic rice; 4 pieces fried Chicken spring rolls; 1 cup Nescafe brown and creamy coffee
  • 1:15 pm - 1/2 cup rice, 1 piece fried chicken drumstick
  • 6:58 pm - 1/2 cup rice; 1/2 cup Ampalaya with Chicken and Sotanghon; 1 piece fried Tilapia
Total Cups of Water: 12

Wow, three rice meals, three fried dishes each meal. Yikes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Let's Jump Rope!

Ipinanganak ka para maging maligaya.
(You were born to be happy.)
- Coca-Cola TVC

Day 115
24 January 2012


I wasn't able to set my alarm, but I was so thankful that my sister woke me up that morning. I am glad that she took the initiative for us to go to Colinas Verdes to do our morning routine. There is a big possibility that she will be back to work next week, so I need to make the most of the remaining days of sharing fitness days with her.

Jump Rope Jump Rope

Sis and I

I decided to bring the jump rope Mr. Pipoy gave to me because I still haven't used it. Sister and I walked 'til we reached the model houses, then make a right turn so that people jogging / walking won't see us really. Hahahaha.

We took turns in using the rope. Counting the jumps I made, I was able to do about 20+ jumps continuously, and I am loving it! Though of course, I'd get sweaty and all after that, but I soooo enjoyed it. I just felt sad for the rope, though... since it's made of leather and the road was rough, it was so obvious that the middle part of the rope was scratched and sort of looked worn out. Mr. Pipoy said maybe I should just use it on smooth surface (he was calling me every now and then - thanks, love).

Both sister and I didn't eat dinner last night because of the super-duper heavy lunch we had yesterday. After about 100 jumps from each of us, sister said she was already feeling the hunger and maybe we should head back home. Ohhhhkay. I guess what we did today was already okay - at least we did something to contribute to the weight loss/fitness.


Walking back, I spotted this huge caterpillar. Part of me admired the little chubby one for holding on to that leaf for his dear life, and yes, I can relate a little bit. This one taught me that I should just hold on and keep doing what I am doing and in time I will be a beautiful butterfly -- err, this one will be a moth, but regardless, change will be great!

I wasn't able to do any of my other exercises because Bloody Mary came today. I was in deep discomfort - my lower tummy ached so bad, and I just felt dizzy the entire afternoon.

Tilapia and Alukon Dinengdeng

My food intake today:
  • 8:47 am - 1 serving Pansit Palabok (minus the egg); 1 cup Nescafe brown n' creamy coffee
  • 1:03 pm - 1/4 cup rice; 1/2 salted egg with chopped tomatoes and shallots
  • 4:02 pm - 5 pieces breaded squid rings with sweet - chili vinegar dip
  • 6:49 pm - 1/2 cup rice; 1/2 cup leftover Alukon Dinengdeng (alukon, lima beans, sweet potatoes, small shrimps, moringa leaves cooked with water seasoned with fermented fish paste); 1 slice ripe papaya
Total Cups of Water: 13
I went to bed way too early tonight because of Bloody Mary. I am thankful that I still haven't skipped a month since July 2004... but I really don't like it when "she's" around - total discomfort!

and then, she {snapped} NapTime MomTog